The impending shutdown of the Federal Government would also close Ford Theatre’s performances of Liberty Smith, the Ford Theatre Society announced last night. The announcement reverses a previous decision to continue the show regardless of whether the government is authorized to spend money after midnight on Friday, April 8.
Ford’s Theatre, where John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, is a National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service, a Federal Agency. In the event that the Federal Government loses its authority to spend money, all but essential employees of the United States will be furloughed. The government defines “essential” as those necessary for the preservation of life or property, and this definition does not include those involved in the operation of Ford’s Theatre.
Liberty Smith is a musical fantasy about a Zelig-like character who flits around the edges of the American revolution. The revolutionaries also had money difficulties, but did not shut down.
History on Foot, a walking tour of Washington conducted by actors engaged by Ford’s Theatre, will continue regardless of any shutdown.
As of this writing, Discovery Theater, located within the Smithsonian Institute which will be shuttered by the shutdown, will most probably be able to continue its programs in the Ripley Center. For best information, call 202 633-3030.
A government shutdown appears likely because the House of Representatives and the Senate have not yet agreed on a budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. The government has been operating on a series of temporary, “continuing” resolutions, the most recent of which will expire at midnight on Friday. House rules require that legislation be brought to the floor at least three days before it is voted upon, and no legislation to fund the government past April 8 is currently on the floor.